Despite plenty of naysayers, Netflix boasts success like few other dot-coms, Chris O’Brien writes in the San Jose Mercury News. The movie-rental service reported record earnings despite the recession, “a neat trick that eBay and Yahoo could only dream of emulating.” Netflix’s innovative distribution system, inventory management, and prescient web-to-TV video streams have won it a permanent spot on the cutting edge.
Online video could have disrupted the mail-based company, but “Netflix may have already outflanked many competitors, including Apple,” O’Brien claims, by delivering web streams to TV via Xbox and TiVo. “If Netflix manages this transition artfully, it will reap big savings in postage and inventory,” boosting its growing core business. Netflix, he concludes, has perfected the “delicate dance of spending capital at the right time.”